True Christian Religion #114

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114. REDEMPTION

It is known in the church that there are two offices belonging to the Lord, that of priest and that of king; but as few know in what each office consists this shall be explained. From His priestly office the Lord is called Jesus, and from his kingly office, Christ; also from His priestly office He is called in the Word, Jehovah and Lord, and from His kingly office He is called God and the Holy One of Israel, as well as King. These two offices are distinguished from each other, like love and wisdom, or what is the same, like good and truth; consequently whatever the Lord did and effected from Divine love or Divine good was done and effected from His priestly office; but whatever He did and effected from Divine wisdom or Divine truth was done and effected from His kingly office. Moreover, in the Word priest and priesthood signify the Divine good; while king and royalty signify the Divine truth, and these two were represented by priests and kings in the Israelitish church. Redemption pertains to both offices; and what part of it to one and what to the other will be disclosed in what follows. And that the particulars of the subject may be clearly seen, the explanation shall be divided into the following heads or sections:

(1) Redemption itself was a subjugation of the hells, a restoration of order in the heavens, and by means of these a preparation for a new spiritual church.

(2) Without that redemption no man could have been saved, nor could the angels have continued in a state of integrity.

(3) In this wise not only men but the angels also were redeemed by the Lord.

(4) Redemption was a work purely Divine.

(5) This redemption itself could not have been accomplished except by God incarnated.

(6) The passion of the cross was the last temptation which the Lord, as the greatest Prophet, endured; also it was a means of glorifying His Human, that is, of uniting it with the Divine of the Father; but it was not redemption.

(7) The belief that the passion of the cross was redemption itself is the fundamental error of the church; and this error, together with the error respecting three Divine Persons from eternity, has perverted the whole church to such an extent that nothing spiritual is left in it.

These statements shall now be unfolded one by one.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.